There are many signs of success in life. For some, it's making big strides in their career. For others, it's about finding love and growing a family.

One universal sign of success is buying a home. If this is your first foray into the housing market, you might not be sure about which steps to take and when. Thankfully, we've developed these tips to help make that home buying process a little bit easier.

Read on to learn all about buying the home of your dreams!

1. Seek Pre-Approval Before Starting Your Search

Lots of people have a ballpark range of what they want to spend on their home when they start their home search. Sometimes, however, you and the bank have different ideas of how much house you can afford. For that reason, it's important to begin your home search by seeking out pre-approval with a home mortgage lender.

Pre-approval will allow you to tailor your search to your pre-approval amount. It also makes you a more competitive buyer because it shows sellers that you are serious and ready to move.

If you're struggling to get pre-approved, don't get discouraged. Take some time to work on your credit and then get back in the game.

2. Consider Your Needs

Once you know your price range, you can start to narrow down your housing search based on your individual needs. This can include things like proximity to your work, home amenities, and the size of the house.

Don't have enough time to deal with landscaping? Consider a home on a small lot or in an area with a homeowner's association.

Prefer to live in an area where you can walk to work, dining, and entertainment? Look at high-rise condos downtown so you're right in the heart of where you want to be.

3. Put in a Competitive Offer

Once you've narrowed down your search to a few different homes, then it's time to put an offer in. No one wants to pay more than they have to, but it's important to make an offer that won't have the seller turning you away outright. Speak with your realtor to develop a good offer as a starting off point.

If you're searching in an area with a competitive real estate market, keep in mind that you may have to offer more than the asking price to land your home.

4. Prepare to Close

Once you're under contract, you want to make sure that closing goes smoothly. The number one thing to do while you're in escrow is to cease all inquiries on your credit. One credit inquiry can put your pre-approval into jeopardy.

During this period, you will have the home inspected and you will work with your realtor to amend your offer if any serious issues come up. Expect to spend at least thirty days in escrow. The wait is worth it!

Interested in Buying a Home in Nebraska?

Buying a home is a huge achievement, but it can also be a huge source of stress. This is particularly true in areas with competitive real estate markets. Thankfully, by seeking preapproval, narrowing your search, and keeping your eye on the target, that process will be much easier.

Are you looking to buy your dream home in Nebraska? Whether you're looking in Omaha or Lincoln, Nebraska Realty can help make your dream home a reality. Contact us today to learn how we can help you!